On this day in 2008, the Shaquille O'Neal era began in Phoenix, when the Heat and Suns finalized a deal that sent O'Neal to the Suns in exchange for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. February 6th also represents Hoops Rumors' anniversary, as we launched our site a year ago today. Whether you've been with us from the beginning or just visited for the first time today, we'd like to thank you for reading, and we hope you'll stick with us longer than the O'Neal era lasted in Phoenix.
Here are this afternoon's odds and ends from around the NBA:
- Commissioner David Stern told WCCO radio in Minnesota that he expects the NBA to introduce blood testing for HGH by next season, according to Ben Golliver of SI.com.
- Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson hopes to have a detailed plan to attempt to keep the Kings in Sacramento in place by the end of the month, according to Ryan Lillis and Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee.
- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich acknowledged that French forward Mickael Gelabale, currently with the Timberwolves, is a player that's interested San Antonio in the past. "He's somebody we thought about a lot over the last couple of years," Popovich said. "We just never really had a position there" (Twitter links via Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News).
- Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld takes a look at trade possibilities for Western Conference clubs, identifying which players on each team are most likely to be on the move.
- Israel's Elizur Ashkelon has signed former NBA veteran Jarvis Hayes, according to the team's website (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Hayes, who last played for the Nets in 2009/10, was drafted 10th overall in 2003.
- The recently-formed five-man interim NBPA executive committee has hired the law firm of Orrick Herrington as advisors, tweets Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal.